Skip to main content

Sweeping New Restrictions on Restaurants, Bars, Gyms, and Theaters

Mon, 03/16/2020 - 11:41
The dining room was readied for closure at the Highway Restaurant and Bar in East Hampton on Monday, after the governor limited all restaurants and bars with food service to takout and delivery only.
Doug Kuntz

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday morning that the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut have jointly agreed to close gyms, movie theaters, and casinos across the region, and restrict restaurants and bars to takeout and delivery service effective Monday at 8 p.m.

"The coronavirus doesn't care about state borders, so this agreement . . . will help protect the entire tri-state area," Gov. Cuomo said on Twitter. "These temporary closures will last as long as is necessary to protect the public health."

Earlier on Monday, during an interview on the radio station 106.1 FM, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said there had been conversations with local officials about closing bars and restaurants altogether in light of the spread of COVID-19, but the governor acted first.

Governor Cuomo also said gatherings are limited to crowds of 50 or less.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "updated their guidance on this issue. New York City had previously been reluctant to close schools, and has now shut down restaurants and bars," Mr. Bellone said on the radio before the governor's announcement. "We're going to look to see if we're going to do something. . . . We'll provide that information to the public when that happens."

Among area restaurants already doing takeout and curbside service were Fierro's Pizza in East Hampton Village.

"We decided yesterday for us to stay open and accommodate people," said Al Fierro, a co-owner of the restaurant, which has been in business for 37 years. "They are in panic mode and we didn't want them to not have an option. They can come to the front door or order takeout, which would be a great option for the community."

Chairs are flipped up onto the tables at Fierro's and at places like Starbucks in the village.

"People can walk in and box up whatever they want," Mr. Fierro said. "I want to keep people as safe as possible at this time. I'm hoping that people understand."

Mr. Bellone also said Monday he is aware the governor has plans to open a drive-through COVID-19 testing site at  the Jones Beach state park in Nassau County soon. The Stony Brook Statesman, a student newspaper at Stony Brook University, reported Sunday that while the university had been considered a site for such a facility in Suffolk, plans were on hold because testing equipment is hard to come by.

Your support for The East Hampton Star helps us deliver the news, arts, and community information you need. Whether you are an online subscriber, get the paper in the mail, delivered to your door in Manhattan, or are just passing through, every reader counts. We value you for being part of The Star family.

Your subscription to The Star does more than get you great arts, news, sports, and outdoors stories. It makes everything we do possible.